The management of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) has retracted a story published 26 June on alleged increase in school fees in Federal, state and private universities, just as it gets health stakeholders commendation on effective reportage.
The story, titled, ’38 Nigerian Universities increase tuition fees – ASUU’, was credited to Dr Deji Omole, the Chairman of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), University of Ibadan Chapter.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) has carried out checks on the story and discovered that standard editorial procedures were not followed to verify its authenticity.
The alleged press statement was found to have been mailed to a staff of the Agency who passed it on for publication. The statement was utterly false.
The story was also inadvertently transmitted by NAN after failing integrity tests.
Three senior editorial staff involved in the processing of the story have been suspended without pay by management, to serve as a warning that the agency will not tolerate breaches of its editorial integrity.
“This is to assure our numerous clients that NAN will continue to maintain its policy of credibility, fairness, justice and not compromise its professional ethics,’’ management said today.
NAN Management will send a letter of apology to Dr Omole.
NAN Management regretted the story and has apologised to its subscribers. It has also enjoined subscribers to trash the story from their websites.
Meanwhhile, some stakeholders in the health sector have commended the collaborative efforts of the NAN in the promotion of exclusive breastfeeding through its effective reportage.
The stakeholders are: Mrs Grace Mogekwu, a Desk Officer Infant and Young Child Feeding/Nutrition, Federal Ministry of Health and Mrs Olubunmi Aiyedun, the President National Association of Nigeria Paediatric Nurses.
They spoke at a forum of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday in Abuja, ahead of the commemoration of the World Breastfeeding Week.
NAN reports that world exclusive breastfeeding week is commemorated annually from August 1 to August 7.
This year’s theme is “Sustaining breastfeeding together’’.
It was set aside to raise awareness on the importance of breastfeeding, especially to the child, mother, family, community and the nation at large.
It is also to seek synergy as well as galvanise efforts toward exclusive breastfeeding and adequate complimentary feeding.
Speaking at the forum, Aiyedun appreciated the management of the agency for availing the association the platform to propagate the benefits of exclusive breastfeeding.
The paediatrician described the media as opinion moulder and key stakeholders in ensuring full compliance to exclusive breastfeeding practice by mothers.
Aiyedun, however, emphasised that all efforts targeted in achieving any particular goal in the country would be mission in futility without effective involvement of the media.
She further described the media as major stakeholders in the promotion and compliance to exclusive breastfeeding and appealed to other media organisations to do same.
“I am using this medium to thank NAN and other donour agencies UNICEF, and the World Health Organisation (WHO) among others, had been in the forefront to ensure effective breastfeeding practice which was key to the realisation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
“To achieve full compliance to exclusive breastfeeding is a collective venture, so the media need to understand that we can do nothing without them.
“So, we are reaching out to all media organisations to come on board to get the information across to the grassroots and together we can make it a reality in Nigeria and also ensure SDGs comes to reality in Nigeria,’’ Aiyedun said.
According to Aiyedun, a well breastfed child is not only going to be alive, but will be strong and such a child will fulfil its potential.
“Breastfeeding plays a key role in the growth and development of our children, particularly the new born and has contributed immensely to the development of the society and the country at large.
Similarly, Mogekwu commended government’s efforts in formulating policies on effective exclusive breastfeeding practices.
Mojekwu identified such policies to include early initiation of breastfeeding at birth, baby friendly initiative, regulation of Code of Marketing of breast milk substitute in order to avoid compelling mothers to go for them rather than exclusive breastfeeding.
“The regulation of Code of Marketing breast milk substitute kicks against infants’ food manufacturers from advertising their products to mothers, health workers or even displaying their products in a place that is attractive to mothers.
“Doing that is a violation of the code which the National Agency For Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) is really out to safeguard,’’ Mojekwu said.